Golden Globe Film Noms: 'Lincoln' Tops, 'Salmon Fishing' Surprises

Spielberg's drama about the 16th president topped the film nominations, followed by Ben Affleck's "Argo" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."

Lincoln easily won the vote as nominations were announced Thursday morning for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. With seven nominations -- as best picture and for director Steven Spielberg and its stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones -- it led the motion picture returns, followed closely by the hostage thriller Argo and the slavery revenge drama Django Unchained, who scored five noms each.

PHOTOS: Golden Globe 2013 Nominees

All three films will compete for best drama when the Globe Awards are held Jan. 13 with Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty.

On the lighter side of the ledger, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of international journalists that presents the Globes, nominated as best comedy or musical The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Silver Linings Playbook. Of those titles, Salmon was the unexpected entry. The offbeat romance -- set in a Middle East sheikdom and released by CBS Films back in March, when it grossed just $9 million domestically – has made an awards season comeback, also earning nominations in the comedy categories for its two stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt.

STORY: Golden Globe Nominations: 'Lincoln' Leads With 7, 'Game Change' Tops TV

While domestic politics (in the form of Lincoln) and the response to terrorism (in Argo and Zero Dark Thirty) were at the top of the Globes’ drama noms, the same was true in TV, where HBO’s Game Change, a look into the 2008 election, and Showtime’s Homeland led the pack with five and four nominations, respectively.

The nominations for best motion picture director matched up with the best drama nominees: In addition to Spielberg, nominations were doled out to Argo’s Ben Affleck, Zero’s Kathryn Bigelow, Pi’s Ang Lee (who has won two previous Globes for directing 2005’s Brokeback Mountain and 2001’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Django’s Quentin Tarantino. But that also meant some of the directors of the nominated comedy/musicals, like Les MisTom Hooper and Playbook’s David O. Russell, were left off the directing roster, although Russell did pick up a screenplay nom.

Acting nominations tended to come in starry clusters: While Lincoln picked up three acting noms, so did The Master, which scored its own trifecta with noms for Joaquin Phoenix (actor), Philip Seymour Hoffman (supporting actor) and Amy Adams (supporting actress). Playbook co-stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both pulled in lead comedy nominations, and Les MisHugh Jackman (for lead comedy/musical actor) and Anne Hathaway (in supporting) performed a duet. The sexual surrogate drama The Sessions resulted in nominations for drama actor John Hawkes and supporting actress Helen Hunt. And two of Django’s stars -- Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz -- will square off against each other in the supporting category.

ANALYSIS: Golden Globes: What You Need to Know About the Film Nominations

In the category of best actress in a motion picture drama, the nominees are Jessica Chastain, who plays a driven CIA operative in Zero; Marion Cotillard, who overcomes a crippling injury in Rust and Bone; Helen Mirren, who appears as the famous director’s loyal wife in Hitchcock; Naomi Watts, who battles the elements in The Impossible; and Rachel Weisz, who becomes embroiled in an adulterous affair in The Deep Blue Sea.

Along with Day-Lewis, Hawkes and Phoenix, the best drama actor roundup includes Richard Gere, starring as a financier whose life is unraveling in Arbitrage, and Denzel Washington, who plays an ace pilot who’s grounded in Flight.

Doubling their chances to take home a trophy were both Maggie Smith and Nicole Kidman. Smith received a nomination as lead comedy actress for playing a diva heading into retirement in Quartet and also collected a nom for TV supporting actress for her dowager countess in Downton Abbey, for which she also was nominated last year. Kidman was recognized with a supporting actress nomination for her performance as a woman in love with a death-row killer in The Paperboy and also turned up on the TV list as a best TV movie actress for playing journalist Martha Gellhorn in Hemingway & Gellhorn.

In addition to Lawrence, Blunt and Smith, the nominees for best comedy or musical actress included Globe perennials Judi Dench for heading an ensemble playing British retirees in Hotel and Meryl Streep, for weathering a long-term marriage in Hope Springs. Among the actors nominated for best musical/comedy actor, Cooper, Jackman and McGregor were joined by Jack Black, who plays a lethal funeral home director in Bernie, and Bill Murray, who appears as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. Alan Arkin, who last won a Golden Globe in 1967 for The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, rounded out the quintet of supporting actor nominees.

Beyond his directing nom, Tarantino earned a second mention for writing Django’s screenplay. The other motion picture screenplay nominees are Zero’s Mark Boal, Lincoln’s Tony Kushner, Argo’s Chris Terrio and Playbook’s Russell.

Keith Urban, Jon Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift and Adele were among the name performers with song credits that attracted the attention of the HFPA. Along with Monty Powell, Urban wrote music and lyrics for “For You” from Act of Valor; Bon Jovi wrote both music and lyrics for “Not Running Anymore” from Stand Up Guys; Swift, joined by John Paul White, Joy Williams and T Bone Burnett, wrote music and lyrics for “Safe & Sound” from The Hunger Games; and Adele and Paul Epworth wrote music and lyrics for the title tune from Skyfall. The fifth song nominee was the new song created for Les Mis: “Suddenly,” music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Alain Boubil and Schonberg.

Motion picture score nominees were Pi's Mychael Danna, Argo’s Alexandre Desplat, Anna Karenina’s Dario Marianelli, Cloud AtlasTom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil and Lincoln’s John Williams.

While Tim Burton’s stop-motion Frankenweenie from Disney was nominated for best animated film, computer-animated movies dominated that category, which also includes Pixar/Disney’s Brave, Sony’s Hotel Translyvania, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians and Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph.

French-language films were the order of the day in the best foreign-language film category, which included the drama Rust and Bone and the relationship comedy The Intouchables as well as Armour (an Austrian entry, whose story is set in a Parisian apartment). Also nominated were Denmark’s A Royal Affair and the Norway/U.K./Denmark production Kon-Tiki.

Among U.S. distributors, awards powerhouse The Weinstein Company (thanks to movies like Django and Playbook) could boast of 14 nominations, followed by Sony (which is distributing Zero and co-financed Django) with 12. Disney could claim 10, thanks to DreamWorks’ Lincoln, distributed through its Touchstone label, and its three animated movies. But corporately, it was another story, with Sony toting up 20, by adding three that went to its specialty film division Sony Pictures Classics and five more from TV’s Breaking Bad, Damages and Hatfields and McCoys.

See the complete list of nominees here.